The turkeys will be bigger than ever to make sure there is enough to go around at the harvest turkey dinner at the Minetto United Methodist Church on Saturday, October 18. Customers who prefer to eat at home can go inside for carry-out service or may use the drive-thru take-out line. They just pull into the parking lot from Empire Avenue and give their order to an attendant who radios it inside. Then they drive forward, where more attendants collect payment, deliver the order to the car, and send them on their way. Those who prefer to eat at the church, may go inside and eat in the dining room where they will likely find some of their friends and neighbors. Either way everyone gets a complete traditional home-cooked roast turkey dinner.
Serving begins at 4:00 P.M. and the menu includes roast turkey, dressing, country mashed red potatoes and gravy, butternut squash, cole slaw, cranberry sauce, dinner roll, and homemade pie. Regular dinners are $8.00 and smaller ones are $5.00. The church is located at the corner of state route 48 and county route 8 in the village of Minetto.
Last year, 866 dinners were served in under three hours. Take-outs accounted for 604 and the other 262 were served in the church dining room. This year’s dinner will use 32 turkeys weighing over 750 pounds, 350 pounds of potatoes, eight bushels of squash, and over 125 homemade pies. Planning and conducting the dinner will involve at least 130 individuals of the congregation, from over 90 households. Most participants have done their jobs for several years so they have developed considerable skill and efficiency. “We look forward to seeing long time friends and new customers as well. As good as the food is, the fellowship is even better,” said Vernon Tryon, coordinator of the annual event.
The church holds its harvest turkey dinner each fall to supplement support of its ministries in Minetto and around the world. Sixteen per cent of the church’s annual budget is intended for service outside the parish. That money is targeted for such purposes as health insurance for retired clergy and their dependents; worldwide missions and services to the poor, disabled, and disadvantaged; overhead expenses for United Methodist Committee on Relief disaster assistance; North Central New York Conference services and programs; interdenominational cooperation; eleven historically African-American colleges in the U.S.; and Africa University, the only United Methodist university in Africa, which serves 1300 students each year in agriculture, business, and other fields of study.